Transcript: Ontario Hubs: Indigenous Culture Connection | Sep 07, 2018

Jeyan Jeganathan sits in the set of "The Agenda."

Jeyan is in his thirties, with short curly brown hair and a stubble. He wears a blue suit, a white shirt and a burgundy tie.

A caption reads "Ontario Hubs: Indigenous culture connection."

The caption changes to "Jeyan Jeganathan. @JeyanTVO, @theagenda."

Jeyan says IT'S BEEN A BUSY
SUMMER FOR OUR ONTARIO HUBS
EDITORS.
JOINING US TO GET CAUGHT UP ON
WHAT HE LEARNED IN THE LAST FEW
MONTHS ABOUT STAYING CONNECTED
WITH FIRST NATIONS CULTURE, IN
OUR STUDIO AT LAURENTIAN
UNIVERSITY IN SUDBURY, OUR
NORTHEAST ONTARIO HUB EDITOR,
CLAUDE SHARMA. WELCOME.

Claude says THANK YOU.

Claude is in his thirties, with short puffy brown hair and wears a blue suit, white shirt, checkered white, blue and pink tie and a pink pocket square.

Jeyan says TO START THINGS OFF,
LET'S PUT UP A STATEMENT WE
RECEIVED THIS WEEK FROM MARY
BALLANTYNE, SHE IS THE CEO OF
THE ONTARIO ASSOCIATION OF
CHILDREN'S AID SOCIETIES.
AND IT READS:

A quote on screen reads "Bringing indigenous children home. It's been nearly one year since the children's aid societies of Ontario acknowledged and apologized for the harmful role child welfare has played historically, and continues to play, in the lives of Ontario Indigenous children, families, and communities. Children's Aid Societies have spent the past year working with local Indigenous communities to strengthen relationships and continue to work set out in our nine Reconciliation commitments, one of which is to reduce the number of Indigenous children in care. Mary Ballantyne, via e-mail (September 5, 2018."

Jeyan says SO, CLAUDE, GIVE US SOME
CONTEXT.
WHERE DID THIS APOLOGY COME FROM
LAST FALL FROM THE CHILDREN'S
AID SOCIETY?

The caption changes to "Ontario Hubs: Indigenous culture connection. Children in care."

The caption changes to "Claude Sharma. Northeastern Ontario Hub editor."

Claude says WELL, JEYAN, IT
ISN'T SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED
OVERNIGHT.
THIS DATES BACK DECADES AGO.
WE LOOK BACK AT THE '60s
SCOOP, THE RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL
SYSTEM EVEN BEFORE THAT, WHERE
THESE CHILDREN WERE PHYSICALLY
SNATCHED FROM THEIR HOMES, FROM
THEIR COMMUNITIES, WITHOUT
KNOWING IT AT ALL, AND THEN THEY
WERE PUT INTO THE FOSTER CARE
SYSTEM AND WERE RAISED WITH
NON-INDIGENOUS FAMILIES,
NON-INDIGENOUS GUARDIANS, AND
JUST TO GIVE YOU SOME OF THE
NUMBERS HERE IN CANADA IN
REGARDS TO HOW OVERREPRESENTED
INDIGENOUS YOUTH ARE IN THE
CHILD WELFARE SYSTEM.
7 percent OF YOUTH IN CANADA ARE
INDIGENOUS, BUT CLOSE TO 50 percent OF
THEM ARE IN THE CHILD WELFARE
SYSTEM, AND THESE ARE GOVERNMENT
STATS AS OF 2011.

Jeyan says LET'S BRING UP
ONTARIO NUMBERS.

Data from the Ontario Human Rights Commission appears on screen.

Jeyan says THIS IS FROM THE ONTARIO HUMAN
RIGHTS COMMISSION THIS PAST
APRIL.
DESPITE MAKING UP ONLY 4.1 percent OF
THE POPULATION IN ONTARIO UNDER
AGE 15, THE 2016 CENSUS FOUND
INDIGENOUS CHILDREN REPRESENTED
APPROXIMATELY 30 percent OF FOSTER
CHILDREN IN THE PROVINCE.
I'VE GOT TO ASK: WHAT CHANGES
HAVE BEEN INTRODUCED IN NORTHERN
ONTARIO AND IN THE REST OF THE
PROVINCE WHEN IT COMES TO CHILD
WELFARE SERVICES FOR INDIGENOUS
CHILDREN?

Claude says WELL, START OFF
WITH NORTHEASTERN ONTARIO.
OVER THE PAST THREE YEARS,
INDIGENOUS-LED CHILD WELFARE
AUTHORITIES HAVE RECEIVED
DESIGNATION, THAT'S THREE
DIFFERENT GROUPS IN THE
NORTHEAST, AND THAT STARTED BACK
IN 2015.
AND WHAT THIS MEANS TO GET
DESIGNATION IS THAT THESE
INDIGENOUS-LED GROUPS TAKE ON
FULL CHILD WELFARE AUTHORITY
FROM THE CAS, FROM THE PROVINCE.

An online article appears with the headline "Why First Nations are assuming responsibility for child-welfare cases."

Claude says THEY TAKE ON CASES OF INDIGENOUS
YOUTH, IN THE CASE OF... WHICH
I'M SURE WE'LL TALK ABOUT LATER
ON, THEY'LL TAKE CASES OVER CAS
AND BRING THEM BACK INTO THE
COMMUNITIES, BACK INTO FIRST
NATION AREAS.
SO THESE CHILDREN CAN GROW UP
WITH THEIR FAMILIES AND GROW UP
WITH THEIR PARENTS AND EVEN IF
SOME OF THEIR PARENTS ARE UNFIT
TO RAISE THEM, WELL, A GUARDIAN
WILL BE THERE OR A GRANDPARENT
OR SOMEONE THAT HAS CLOSE TIES
TO THE FAMILIES AND SOMEONE THAT
CAN TEACH THEM THEIR CULTURE,
THE ANISHINAABE CULTURE, SO IT'S
SOMETHING THEY WON'T LOSE.

Jeyan says WHAT ARE SOME OF THE
EXAMPLES OF AN INDIGENOUS-LED
AGENCY, LIKE THE ONE YOU SPOKE
TO, HOW ARE THEY HELPING
MAINTAIN THAT RELATIONSHIP WITH
THE ANISHINAABE CULTURE?

Claude says JUST TO GET A BIT
MORE CLARITY HERE, THESE
AGENCIES, THERE ARE 14 OF THEM
IN THE PROVINCE.
THEY'VE BEEN AROUND FOR A WHILE.
SOME OF THEM EVEN EXTEND BACK TO
THE '80s.
THIS ONE HAS BEEN AROUND FOR A
NUMBER OF YEARS.
THEY JUST GOT THEIR DESIGNATION
LAST YEAR.
I WAS AT THAT CELEBRATION
CEREMONY.
THEY SERVE SEVEN FIRST NATION
COMMUNITIES SPANNING FROM
SUDBURY WEST TO SAULT STE.
MARIE.
AND I GOT A CHANCE TO SPEAK TO A
COUPLE WHO RECENTLY TOOK IN
THEIR GRANDCHILDREN.
SO THEY DIDN'T GO TO THE CAS
SYSTEM, THEY WENT TO THEIR
GRANDPARENTS, AND THEY SAID WHAT
IT DOES, THEY CAN OFFER SMUDGE
KITS AND TRADITIONAL DRUMMING AS
WELL AS MAKING SURE THE LANGUAGE
STAYS REVITALIZED AND STAYS
INSIDE THE HOMES, SO THERE'S
THAT CONNECTION WITH WHAT
THEY'RE USED TO AND TO THEIR
CONNECTION TO THEIR ANISHINAABE
CULTURE.

Jeyan says I WANT TO TALK ABOUT
OTHER EFFORTS TO PRESERVE
INDIGENOUS CULTURE.
YOU DROPPED INTO A CAMP IN THE
SUDBURY AREA THAT COMBINES OJIBWE
AND BOWLING

Another article appears with the title "Why an immersive Ojibwe language program is taking students bowling."

The caption changes to "Ontario Hubs: Indigenous culture connection. Keeping Ojibwe alive."

Claude says BOWLING WAS ONE OF
THE MANY ACTIVITIES THEY DID
DURING THIS CAMP, A LANGUAGE
REVITALIZATION GROUP, THIS IS
THEIR THIRD YEAR, BOWLING WAS
ONE PART.
THEY WERE ABLE TO COOK PIES.
THEY CANNED CUCUMBERS.
THEY'RE ABLE TO RECITE WHAT THEY
WERE MAKING FOR DINNER THAT
NIGHT, DIFFERENT RECIPES THROUGH
SONG.
THIS IS AN EMERGING CAMP IN
OJIBWAY OR WHAT'S BETTER KNOWN
TO THEM AS ANISHINAABE, AND
THESE CAMPS ARE STRICT WHEN IT
COMES TO NOT SPEAKING THE
ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
I CAN GIVE YOU TWO EXAMPLES OF
THAT.
ONE OF THE FACILITATORS THERE,
ONE OF THE TEACHERS, I WAS
SITTING RIGHT BESIDE THEM IN ONE
OF THOSE CLASSES AND WE HAD TO
TEXT EACH OTHER.
I TEXTED HIM SAYING WHAT IS
GOING ON?
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
THEY DIDN'T WANT ENGLISH TO BE
HEARD ANYWHERE WHATSOEVER.
THE ONE STUDENT I INTERVIEWED,
THERE WERE TEN STUDENTS IN
TOTAL, I DID THAT INTERVIEW
THROUGH A TRANSLATOR.
SO I WOULD ASK THE QUESTION IN
ENGLISH TO THE TRANSLATOR, SHE
WOULD RELAY IT IN OJIBWAY, AND
RELAY THE ANSWER BACK IN
OJIBWAY.
BUT PRETTY STRICT BUT STRICT FOR
THE RIGHT REASONS.

Jeyan says I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT
THIS APP.
IT'S A FREE APP THAT HELPS YOU
LEARN OR BRUSH UP ON YOUR
OJIBWAY.
HOW EXACTLY DOES THAT WORK?

Claude says SO THIS APP IS
CALLED "CHALLENGE FOR CHANGE."
AND IT'S PUT ON BY WINCOM
UNCEDED TERRITORY.
YOU CAN SEE THERE YOU CAN LEARN
DIFFERENT PHRASES, DIFFERENT
WORDS AT ANY TIME OF THE DAY.
IT'S KIND OF GEARED TOWARD THE
YOUTH, THE YOUNGER PEOPLE, AND
THOSE ARE THE ONES THAT NEVER
REALLY LEARNED THE LANGUAGE IN
THE FIRST PLACE.
THAT'S WHO IT'S GEARED TOWARDS.
IT'S FUN.
IT'S INTERACTIVE.
YOU CAN PLAY GAMES AND DO
QUIZZES AND EARN POINTS.
IT'S CALLED "CHALLENGE FOR
CHANGE" AND SOMETHING THEY HOPE
TO EXPAND ON VERY SOON.

Jeyan says LET'S TALK ABOUT
THAT EXPANSION.
ARE THERE PRELIMINARY TALKS OR
PLANS TO EXPAND THAT APP BEYOND
OJIBWAY?

Claude says OH, YES.
THE CHALLENGE FOR CHANGE APP IS
ONE THING AND THERE'S ALSO A
CHALLENGE FOR CHANGE WEBSITE
WHERE THEY WANT TO CREATE AN
ONLINE LANGUAGE PORTAL.
THEY WANT TO GET THIS PORTAL
INTO SCHOOLS BY SOMETIME NEXT
YEAR, AND THEY ALSO WANT THIS
APP TO BE A PART OF THAT
PROJECT, AND THEY'RE LOOKING TO
RAISE 600,000 DOLLARS TO MAKE THIS ALL
HAPPEN.
THEY'RE REALLY CLOSE TO THEIR
GOAL RIGHT NOW.
AND THEY ALSO WANT TO EXPAND
SOME OF THE LANGUAGES.
SOME PRELIMINARY TALKS ARE MAYBE
EVEN BRANCHING OUT TO CREE WHICH
IS SPOKEN IN NORTHERN ONTARIO.

Jeyan says NOW, I'M CURIOUS.
YOU WENT TO THE CAMP.
YOU LOOKED AT THE APP.
DID YOU PICK UP ANY WORDS IN
OJIBWAY THAT YOU CAN SHARE WITH
US?

The caption changes to "Claude Sharma. @ClaudeSharma."

Claude says YEAH.
GOING THROUGH THE APP, IT'S
PRETTY EASY TO FOLLOW ALONG.
SOME OF THE WORDS MAY NOT LOOK
TOO COMMON AND THEY SHOULDN'T.
YOU JUST KIND OF CLICK ON THE
SPEAKER OPTION AND IT KIND OF
SAYS IT OUT FOR YOU
PHONETICALLY. SOME THINGS I
PICKED UP WOULD BE (SPEAKING)
WHICH MEANS "THINGS ARE GOING
WELL." THERE'S ONE THAT MEANS
"MY FATHER."
WHAT DID I HAVE FOR BREAKFAST
TODAY, JEYAN?
I HAD SOME WAAWAN OON, AND THAT MEANS
EGGS.

Jeyan says YOU KNOW, THE NEXT
TIME WE CHECK IN, WE'RE GONNA
TEST YOU AGAIN AND SEE HOW MUCH
YOU'VE GOTTEN BETTER AT THIS.

Claude says OR EVEN BETTER.
I PROMISE.

Jeyan says ALRIGHT CLAUDE, ALWAYS
A PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU ON THE
SHOW. UNTIL NEXT TIME,
THAT IS CLAUDE SHARMA FROM
LAURENTIAN UNIVERSITY, OUR
ONTARIO HUBS, FROM NORTHEASTERN
ONTARIO.

The caption changes to "Ontario Hubs: Indigenous culture connection. Producer: Patricia Kozicka. @TrishKozicka."

Watch: Ontario Hubs: Indigenous Culture Connection